A Bitter Pill

1. Biden repeated the false talking points — as did moderator Martha Raddatz (!) — about the Romney Medicare plan exposing seniors to higher costs. In fact, the Romney plan is explicitly designed to ensure that seniors are not exposed to any additional costs.

2. Biden repeated the false talking points about Obamacare’s $716 billion in Medicare cuts not being real cuts, because they allegedly don’t cut “benefits.” Indeed, the ratio of Obamacare’s Medicare cuts to “new benefits” is 15 to 1.

3. Biden claimed that Democratic senator Ron Wyden opposes the Wyden-Ryan Medicare reform plan. Wyden opposes the House GOP budget, because it repeals Obamacare and block-grants Medicaid, but rest assured that Wyden still supports the Wyden-Ryan plan. And that plan is actually to the right of Romney’s plan, because Wyden-Ryan contains a hard cap on Medicare spending growth (GDP + 1 percent) whereas Romney’s plan contains no growth cap.

4. Biden claimed that having the government directly negotiate drug prices under Medicare Part D would save taxpayers “$156 billion right off the bat.” In fact, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that such a change “would have a negligible effect on drug spending.”

5. Biden claimed that Paul Ryan’s House budgets would “knock 19 million people off of Medicare.” This is an entirely made-up figure. Not a single person would lose their Medicare coverage under Ryan’s budgets, and not a single person would under Romney’s plan either.

6. Biden repeated the long-debunked claim that Romney seeks a “$5 trillion tax cut,” when in fact Romney’s tax proposal is designed to be revenue-neutral. Furthermore, Biden claimed that there is a study from AEI supporting his claims. “The American Enterprise Institute study [says that] taxes will go up on the middle class,” claimed Biden. There is no such study. Two AEI scholars, Matt Jensen and Alex Brill, have in fact made the opposite case. (NRO)

The Obama health law creates two new entitlements for people under age 65: Subsidies to buy private health plans, and a vast expansion of Medicaid.  To pay for these two new entitlements, this law raises taxes by over half a trillion dollars, and then takes well over half a trillion dollars out of future funding for Medicare.  So seniors pay over half the cost of these new entitlements.  Cuts to Medicare pay for over half the cost of this Obama health care law.  It’s like robbing Grandma to “spread the wealth.”

Based on the data from Medicare’s own actuaries, every single year Medicare will have less money to spend on a senior than before this law was passed.  For example, in 2019, Medicare will have $1,431 less to spend, per senior, than if the law hadn’t passed.  But averages obscure the real impact, understate the real impact, because, in a given year, only about one of out of every five seniors, 22%, go to the hospital.  So, for the senior who needs care that year, the impact is far greater—between $5,000 and $6,000 less in resources to care for that person.

Obama: “Don’t worry, I’m only cutting payments to providers, I’m not cutting benefits for seniors.” 

And the Republicans, specifically want to “end medicare” (see link at the bottom).

Don’t be bamboozled!  It’s a trick.  It’s an illusion.  The fact is that Medicare already pays less than the actual cost of care to a hospital—91 cents for every dollar of care delivered.  So when the payments to hospitals are cut, it’s not going to trim hospital profit margins—they’re already in the negative!  It’s going to force hospitals to deliver less care.(AIM)

On Oct. 1, the Obama administration started awarding bonus points to hospitals that spend the least on elderly patients. It will result in fewer knee replacements, hip replacements, angioplasty, bypass surgery and cataract operations.

These are the five procedures that have transformed aging for older Americans. They used to languish in wheelchairs and nursing homes due to arthritis, cataracts and heart disease. Now they lead active lives.

But the Obama administration is undoing that progress. By cutting $716 billion from future Medicare funding over the next decade and rewarding the hospitals that spend the least on seniors, the Obama health law will make these procedures hard to get and less safe.

The Obama health law creates two new entitlements for people under age 65 — subsidies to buy private health plans and a vast expansion of Medicaid. More than half the cost of these entitlements is paid for by cutting what hospitals, doctors, hospice care, home care and Advantage plans are paid to care for seniors.

Just Take A Pill

Astoundingly, doctors will be paid less to treat a senior than to treat someone on Medicaid, and only about one-third of what a doctor will be paid to treat a patient with private insurance.

On July 13, 2011, Richard Foster, chief actuary for Medicare, warned Congress that seniors will have difficulty finding doctors and hospitals to accept Medicare. Doctors who do continue to take it will not want to spend time doing procedures such as knee replacements when the pay is so low. Yet the law bars them from providing care their patients need for an extra fee. You’re trapped.

President Obama seems to think too many seniors are getting these procedures. At a town hall debate in 2009, he told a woman “maybe you’re better off not having the surgery but taking the painkiller.”

Science proves the president is wrong. Knee replacements, for example, not only relieve pain but also save lives. Seniors with severe osteoarthritis who opt for knee replacement are less apt to succumb to heart failure and have a 50% higher chance of being alive five years later than arthritic seniors who don’t undergo the procedure, according to peer-reviewed scientific research.

Yet Foster warned Congress that 15% of hospitals may stop treating seniors once the Obama-Care cuts go into effect. The rest will have to lower the standard of care. Hospitals will have $247 billion less over the next decade to care for the same number of seniors as if the health law had not been enacted.

Obama claims his Medicare cuts will knock out waste and excessive profits. Untrue. Medicare already pays hospitals less than the actual cost of caring for a senior, on average 91 cents for every dollar of care. No profit there. Pushing down rates will force hospitals to spread nursing staff thinner.

Elderly patients will have a worse chance of surviving their stay and going home. When Medicare reduced payment rates to hospitals as part of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, hospitals incurring the largest cuts laid off nurses.

Rewarding Skimpy Care

Eventually, patients at these hospitals had a 6% to 8% worse chance of surviving a heart attack, according to a National Bureau of Economic Research report (March 2011).

In addition to the across-the-board cuts, the Obama administration will now impose a new measure on hospitals: “Medicare spending per beneficiary.” Hospitals that spend the least on seniors get bonus points, and higher-spending hospitals get demerits.

Hospitals will even be penalized for care consumed up to 30 days after patients are discharged, for example, for outpatient physical therapy following a hip or knee replacement.

There are ways to control Medicare spending, such as inching up the eligibility age or asking well-off seniors to pay more. Forcing hospitals to skimp on care is deadly.

Research sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (Annals of Internal Medicine, February 2011) shows that heart attack patients at the lowest-spending hospitals are 19% more likely to die than patients of the same age at higher-spending hospitals. Yet the Obama health law pushes all hospitals to imitate the lowest spending ones.

Ignore the political rhetoric and look at the scientific evidence. The Medicare cuts in the Obama health law will end Medicare as we’ve known it and doom seniors to painful aging and shorter lives.

And to that: The Politifact Lie of the Year 2011:

So who really wants granny thrown off a cliff?
It’s man behind the curtain. The showman out front. The Hypnotist’s misdirection.
That’s who.

It’s a Liberal Thing




And my own…FEAR IS HOPE!

More of the same:

On a special broadcast of MSNBC’s “Hardball” on Saturday, weekend morning host Melissa Harris-Perry expressed her displeasure with the selection of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s running mate.

In particular, Harris-Perry took issue with Ryan quoting Thomas Jefferson’s line in the Declaration of Independence, in which he declared rights come from God and nature and not from government.

“The thing I really have against him is actually how he and Gov. Romney have misused the Declaration of Independence,” she said. “I’m deeply irritated by their notion that the ‘pursuit of happiness’ means money for the richest and that we extricate the capacity of ordinary people to pursue happiness. When they say ‘God and nature give us our rights, not government,’ that is a lovely thing to say as a wealthy white man.”

“But we could not have them until there was a Civil War that allowed the federal government to impose those nature and God-given rights would actually be respected by our government. And I think that they cannot continue to go down this line on the Declaration of Independence.”

Should we mention the Wealthy White Slave owners in the South and the Freed Slaves in the North?
Probably not. She’d probably think we we were making it up.
Racism, it’s a Liberal Thing! 🙂
“There’s only one president that I know of in history that robbed Medicare, $716 billion to pay for a new risky program of his own that we call Obamacare,” Romney told Schieffer. “What Paul Ryan and I have talked about is saving Medicare, is providing people greater choice in Medicare, making sure it’s there for current seniors. No changes, by the way, for current seniors, or those nearing retirement. But looking for young people down the road and saying, ‘We’re going to give you a bigger choice.’ In America, the nature of this country has been giving people more freedom, more choices. That’s how we make Medicare work down the road.”

According to HotAir.com, the following remark by Ryan was cut and did not air but is crucial in explaining to viewers, especially Florida seniors, that his plan does not affect senior citizens and that his own mother is a Medicare senior.

“My mom is a Medicare senior in Florida,” Ryan said. “Our point is we need to preserve their benefits, because government made promises to them that they’ve organized their retirements around. In order to make sure we can do that, you must reform it for those of us who are younger. And we think these reforms are good reforms that have bipartisan origins. They started from the Clinton commission in the late ’90s.”

HotAir.com called the broadcast cut “journalistic malpractice.”

“Ryan’s plan doesn’t affect those already eligible for Medicare,” Ed Morrissey of HotAir.com wrote. “In fact, one of the conservative criticisms of the plan was that he didn’t give current Medicare recipients the option to choose a private-insurance plan, as younger Americans will get once they become eligible. That’s a pretty newsworthy detail, no?”

The Ryan budget proposes the partial privatization of Medicare by turning it into a premium-support system within a federal exchange, where insurance companies compete for business while meeting coverage requirements.  That’s really no different than Medicare Advantage, which puts market power into cost control and gets the government out of paying providers over a period of several years.  It’s not a perfect solution, as it maintains the third-party-payer system that interferes with pricing signals, which is the main problem driving the cost spiral.  However, it’s as close as we can get to a good political solution, since there is absolutely no support for dismantling Medicare entirely, and it at least lessens the problems of price-signal opacity.

This demonstrates the advantage that Romney gets in picking Ryan as his running mate.  Democrats would have hung the Ryan plan around his neck anyway.  Now Ryan himself gets to answer those attacks on the biggest stage, and the more people hear what Ryan actually proposes, the more apt they are to like it.

Update: The CBS broadcast transcript shows pretty clearly that none of this actually aired on 60 Minutes. (Hot air and Newsmax)

Journalistic “editing” it’s a Liberal Thing. 🙂
Medicare Advantage was scheduled to be destroyed by ObamaCare because the liberals didn’t like it’s cost containment success and beside they had some crony capitalism to dole out, TO AARP!!
It’s called Medi-Gap. It costs most and is less efficient, but politically, it’s a winner!
Now that’s definitely a Liberal thing.
And then there’s the debates:

Apparently, ABC News’s Brian Ross was busy, so the ABC moderator chosen for the vice presidential debate in Danville, Ky., on Oct. 11 of this year will be the network’s Chief Foreign Correspondent, Martha Raddatz.

Matt Drudge has the rest of the debate lineup: Jim Lehrer, of PBS, will ask the questions at the first presidential debate, which is Oct. 3 in Denver. Next comes CNN’s Candy Crowley, who will pick questioners at a town hall-style event in Hempstead, N.Y. on Oct. 16. Bringing up the rear will be veteran CBS reporter Bob Schieffer, who will host the final debate in Boca Raton, Fla., on Oct. 22, Boca Raton.

All moderated by Liberal Journalist who will be in gotcha mode looking for to destroy their evil opponents. Journalism will not be anywhere in sight.

The fix is in. “objectivity” is nigh.

So the side will be loaded and very heavily biased in the Liberals favor so it’s “fair”.

That’s a very liberal thing.

To believe that Ryan’s budget will somehow hurt the ticket is to buy deeply into the notion that U.S. Hispanics are pre-ordained to live as helpless wards of the State, unable to function without the benevolent guidance and assistance that can only come from the enlightened experts of our government Überklasse.

The fact is that Hispanics are just as exposed to debt and deficits as anyone else, and have as much of a stake in the coming debate over debt and deficits, if not more so.  For Hispanics (as well as other immigrants), this election presents a stark choice between a return to the promise of the America they emigrated to, or a continued march down the road to an America that more closely resembles the country they intended to leave behind. (Hot air)

But guilt,fear and self-editing is a very Liberal thing. And they want you to practice it every moment of your life.

You can’t possibly succeed in life without them.

Oh, and anyone who opposes them is an extremist!

Congressman Paul Ryan is the poster boy for the extreme Republican leadership in a Congress whose overall approval rating is 12 percent. His plan to dismantle Medicare is deeply unpopular with the general public, and especially undecided voters.

You might be wondering why the hell Romney picked this guy. But this is a strategic pick that carries real danger for us.

Here’s the calculation: Mitt Romney doesn’t need or expect Paul Ryan to convince even one undecided voter to cast their ballot for him. That’s not what he’s on the ticket for. He’s there to reassure and inspire ultraconservative ideologues and corporate interests that they will have one of their own a heartbeat from the presidency.

That means tens or even hundreds of millions more dollars for the Romney campaign and the array of outside groups supporting him — and if current trends hold, more than 90 percent of that money will be spent on TV ads — lying, distorting and trashing Barack Obama. Those ads will have more impact on undecided voters than anything Paul Ryan himself does or says.

Please donate $3 or more today:

<<website address deleted by me>> (it’s a conservative thing! 🙂 )

More soon.

Jim Messina
Campaign Manager
Obama for America

Its a Liberal thing. 🙂

So, why the hell did Romney choose Paul Ryan as his running mate? Because Ryan has a plan, he has a vision and he’s working. (Katie Pavlich)
And boy do they HATE that.
And HATE is a very Liberal Thing.
Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

Political Cartoons by Robert Ariail

 Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert
 Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

NO FearMongering Here!

Brilliant Listen: Ted Nugent on KFYI

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

“It is unfair to ask seniors to get less in benefits and wait longer to get onto Medicare — all while Republicans back tax breaks for Big Oil and corporations that ship American jobs overseas,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) “Just like the Republican plan to end Medicare, this proposal is unacceptable, especially for struggling middle-class Americans.”

But don’t worry, it’s all those Republicans fault that we can’t deal with the problem. And let’s throw in some Class Warfare will we are at it!

Do the Democrats ever mention the $500 Billion ObamaCare cut from Medicare and then double-counted it as savings? Naw, why would they when they can just straight for the fear and class warfare.

“A plan that slashes Medicare for vulnerable seniors is a plan that slashes Medicare for vulnerable seniors no matter what co-sponsors you put on it,” said Protect Your Care spokesman Eddie Vale. “This so called ‘plan’ is just as dangerous for seniors as the Republican budget that ends Medicare.”

“We believe the right way to strengthen Medicare is to improve the quality and lower the cost of care throughout the health care system,” said AARP’s Nancy LeaMond. “Simply shifting the bill to seniors does nothing to improve health care quality or combat the real problem of rising costs.”

Yet, the one program that was working, Medicare Advantage will be savaged by Obamacare in favor of the less efficient and more expensive MediGap.

Gee, I wonder which one AARP favors?  Do you even have to ask… 🙂

Debt Ceiling: The president called on Republicans to back off their “stubborn” refusal to compromise on their “sacred cow” (no tax hikes), asserting that everyone else at the table has displayed a willingness to do so.  This is news to me, as Democrats have consistently refused to deal seriously with entitlements, and have shamelessly demagogued Republican reform efforts.  One could also argue that Democrats’ true sacred cow in this debate is their insistence on raising taxes, a stance from which they have not backed down.

And the Democrats only want “revenue increases” the new Orwellian term for TAX INCREASES! And anything else is just stupid in their minds. But don’t worry, it’s the Republican’s fault for being intractable.

“I am the President of the United  States, and I want to make sure I’m not engaged in fear-mongering.”   Republicans should file this quote away and resurrect it whenever the  president feeds his insatiable appetite for precisely the practice he  claims to reject.  In fact, he fear-mongered at today’s press  conference.  He can’t help himself.  Absent tax increases, he warned,  children could go without scholarships, food safety measures could be  loosened, and medical research could dry up, etc, etc.  It’s fat-cat  corporate jet-setters vs. the children, you see.  I’d try to accumulate Obama’s greatest fear-mongering hits, but that task could consume my entire afternoon. (But I am considering starting a blog about it…)

“If we do not have revenues (aka TAX INCREASES!), that means there are a bunch of kids out there who are not getting college scholarships.  If we do not have those revenues, then the kinds of cuts that would be required might compromise the National Weather Service.  It means that we would not be funding critical medical research.  It means that food inspection might be compromised.  And I’ve said to some of the Republican leaders, you go talk to your constituents, the Republican constituents, and ask them are they willing to compromise their kids’ safety so that some corporate jet owner continues to get a tax break.  And I’m pretty sure what the answer would be.”

So it’s Armageddon if we don’t have Tax Increases!! And he’s absolutely not fearmongering!!!! 🙂

But it’s the Republican’s “sacred cows” that are the problem!

And the Left has no “sacred cows” that are a problem. 🙂

DEBT: Obama demanded that legislators “do their job” on the debt crisis.  Um,  Mr. President, the Republican-controlled House did its job on the debt.   It passed Paul Ryan’s budget, which reduces the debt by four trillion  dollars, reforms the tax code, and saves the social safety net by  distrupting its inexorable march toward insolvency.  The Democrat-held  Senate has not done its job.  791 days have passed since Harry Reid’s caucus even introduced a  budget.  Oddly, the president failed to mention these salient facts.   He did, however, demand that Congress make “tough choices.”  Is he  referring to the brand of politically risky leadership he’s deliberately avoided?

July 8th, 2011 will be 800 days since the Democrats passed a budget AT ALL.

“I’m the President of the United States not running off of scare tactics,” Treasury Secretary Geithner.

In a ham-fisted class warfare gambit, Obama took aim at tax breaks for  private jet owners.  His point, presumably, was to highlight an  unpopular tax provision Republicans are “protecting” through their  blanket refusal to entertain any tax increases.  Say, where’d those evil  private jet-related tax breaks come from, anyway?  Clue: The answer may  involve an infamous bill that zero House Republicans supported, and  that Barack Obama signed into law.

The vaulted STIMULUS!

The Liberal giveth, and The Liberal wants to take it away when it benefits them politically. Now doesn’t that feel you with confidence?

Oh, and the tax break will bring in $3 Billion dollars over 10 years. OOOH! That’ll fix a $14,400,000,000,000 budget deficit!

Damn those evil greedy rich people!!


One Republican Senate aide, however, shot back in an email to The Daily Caller, saying that the White House only recently sent over the agreements for Congress’ approval. The aide also said that when it comes to tax breaks for corporate jets, “Who would really bear the brunt — wealthy corporate jet owners or the workers who build the jets?”

On the president’s call to put construction workers back to work, presumably through government-sponsored projects, the aide said, “He [Obama] said the same thing before the stimulus and it turned out to be a complete hoax. Only a tiny portion of the stimulus went to infrastructure … Also, we simply can’t afford it and the stimulus has proven we can’t spend our way to prosperity.”

But that’s the sacred cow of the Left though so that doesn’t exist. 🙂

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Political Cartoons by Steve Breen

Recovery Summer

Twenty-eight months after Congress passed President Obama’s signature economic stimulus law, and nearly one year after he declared the summer of 2010 to be “Recovery Summer,” 1.9 million fewer people are employed.

In February 2009, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that 141.7 million people were employed. By the end of May 2011 – the last month for which data are available – that number had fallen to 139.8 million, a difference of 1.9 million.

While the number of people with jobs has increased slightly from its low point during the recession – 137.9 million in December 2009 – those 1.9 million jobs have been lost despite $800 billion in stimulus spending.

This does not mean that the economy is not creating jobs, but rather that it is not creating jobs fast enough to keep up with a combination of layoffs and people entering the job market for the first time.

In a Washington Post op-ed, former White House chief economist Larry Summers noted that the percentage of the population that has a job has not improved, even though the economy is technically in recovery.

“From the first quarter of 2006 to the first quarter of 2011, the U.S. economy’s growth rate averaged less than 1 percent a year,” Summers wrote. “The fraction of the population working remains almost exactly at its recession trough, and recent reports suggest that growth is slowing.”

The fraction of the population with a job has in fact fallen in the 28 months since Congress passed the stimulus – down from 60.3 percent in February 2009 to 58.4 percent in May 2011.

The economy cannot create jobs fast enough to keep pace with layoffs and recent high school and college graduates seeking employment. If the trend continues, as Summers notes may happen, the economy will suffer further in the future as college graduates delay entry into the labor force, reducing their lifetime productivity.

As both Summers and the BLS data make clear, the economy is not creating new jobs fast enough to make up for layoffs and new graduates, calling into question Obama’s oft-repeated claim that the economy is recovering and creating jobs.

In fact, by citing figures from the first quarter of 2006, Summers is understating the economy’s poor performance. According to BLS data, the number of people with jobs peaked at 146.6 million in November 2007, meaning that over the entire recession – which officially began in December 2007 – the number of people employed has fallen by 6.8 million. (CNS &WP)

Some of these smaller firms are responding to inflation by passing it on to their customers. A net 12% of firms reported higher prices in April. You can see from the chart that prices have been rising quickly over the past couple of months:

nfib prices 2011-04.png

This report is a discouraging sign for the recovery for two reasons. You just saw the first one: consumers are facing higher prices. As their purchase power declines, so will their ability to buy as many goods and services. This is a purely mathematical result: if your dollar doesn’t go as far, you can’t buy as much stuff. And if consumers don’t buy as much stuff, then the economy demands less stuff and hiring doesn’t need to rise. (the atlantic)

“Beyond the lack of jobs and incomes, an economy producing below its potential for a prolonged interval sacrifices its future,” argued Summers. “Huge numbers of new college graduates are moving back in with their parents this month because they have no job or means of support.” (WP)

So Inflation hurts business.

Consumers pay more and spend less.

Business don’t hire because they are making due with what they’ve got and don’t have to take the risk of hiring someone else, or the expense.

Now that’s Stimulus! Good Going Dear Leader! 😦

If you can’t have more, you learn to make due with less.

Now if only Congress learned that hard lesson instead of the people.

“Businesses are producing only 3 percent fewer goods and services than they were at the end of 2007, yet Americans are working nearly 10 percent fewer hours because of a mix of layoffs and cutbacks in the workweek.”

Which mean the 10 million people who lost their jobs are going to have a tough time getting them back, especially with an anti-business President in the White House.

But don’t worry, everything is great. The economy is getting better. And Obama is not at fault for any of it.

And they have plans to combat something that doesn’t even exist yet! (and they created by the way). Rejoice!

Oh, and the Stimulus kept it from being worse so it “worked” despite all the evidence to the contrary.

Instead of being eaten by the world devouring Galactus, we are being slowing eaten to death in the Sarlac Pit.

Gee, that makes me feel better!

Isn’t politics fun. 🙂

Political Cartoons by Robert Ariail

Political Cartoons by Dana Summers

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell



Can I have an Order of Fear & Freeloaders, Please…

A Michigan man who won $2 million in a state lottery game continues to collect food stamps 11 months after striking it rich.

And there’s nothing the state can do about it, at least for now.

Leroy Fick, 59, of Auburn won $2 million in the state lottery TV show “Make Me Rich!” last June. But the state’s Department of Human Services determined he was still eligible for food stamps, Fick’s attorney, John Wilson of Midland, said Tuesday.

Eligibility for food stamps is based on gross income and follows federal guidelines; lottery winnings are considered liquid assets and don’t count as income. As long as Fick’s gross income stays below the eligibility requirement for food stamps, he can receive them, even if he has a million dollars in the bank.

Food stamps are paid for through tax dollars and are meant to help support low-income families.

“If you’re going to try to make me feel bad, you’re not going to do it,” Fick told WNEM-TV in Saginaw on Monday.

After all, he’s “entitled”. As I have said before and will say again, Liberals are the greediest, most self-centered because they feel the most entitled to other people’s money.

Oh, and if you disagree with Liberals on this Grandma is going to be thrown off a cliff (that’s coming later on in this blog).

Then there are the frauds. Like AARP.

“I think I’m scheduled to get my AARP card in a couple of years?” President Barack Obama asked today.

“Anytime you want one,” the organization told him. “Platinum.”

Obama at AARP.jpg

The stage was set at AARP, the powerful Washington-based lobby for senior Americans, for Obama to host another “town hall” forum on healthcare reform, where the president allowed that both he and his wife Michelle have “living wills” drafted but hope they don’t have to use them anytime soon.

“If you have insurance that you like, you will be able to keep that insurance,” Obama said of the healthcare reforms that he is pursuing on Capitol Hill. “Nobody is trying to change what works.” (Obama 2009)

They were a massive supporter of ObamaCare.

Now they get a waiver for their MediGap insurance. Their main rival, Medical Advantage gets savaged by ObamaCare.

Effectively, AARP is no longer a senior advocacy group, but just another “evil” “greedy” insurance company. But since they are in bed with Obama and the Liberals, that’s ok.

Their moral outrage is selective.

The Daily Caller has learned that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rate review rules, which it finalized on Thursday, exempt “Medigap” policy providers, like the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), from oversight when such providers increase payment rates for their supplemental insurance plans.

Insurance providers who aren’t exempt from Obamacare’s rate review rules are required to publicly release and explain some health care payment rate increases.

The AARP is the nation’s biggest seller of Medigap policies, or supplemental healthcare plans that add onto what Medicare won’t cover for seniors. The senior citizens interest group advocated for Obamacare to include an attack on Medigap policies’ biggest competitor, Medicare Advantage.

Though the White House and HHS dismiss allegations of political favoritism when it comes to who’s getting exceptions from the new health care regulations – such as in the recent uproar over the disproportionate number of Obamacare waivers that went to companies in House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s district — Obamacare critics say the mere appearance of the administration helping friends is disturbing.

The appearance of favoritism exists with the new AARP exemptions, too. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sens. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, and Max Baucus, Montana Democrat, wrote to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius last October asking her not to do what HHS just finalized today – that is exempt Medigap policies from rate increase oversight.underwriter

“While Medicare Advantage premiums are declining, we are hearing disturbing stories from beneficiaries across the country about excessive premium increases for Medigap supplemental insurance policies,” Reid, Baucus and Kerry wrote to Sebelius on Oct. 6.

“For example, some beneficiaries enrolled in the United of Omaha Life Insurance Company will see their Medigap premiums increase by approximately 40 percent between 2010 and 2011,” the letter read. “An increase of this magnitude raises serious concerns about premium-setting practices and rate review procedures in place for Medigap policies.”

Instead of listening to three top Senate Democrats, the Obama administration decided to go ahead anyway with the Medigap exceptions from rate increase reviews.

The AARP was a driving force behind getting Obamacare through Congress, contributing a large sum to the $121 million advertising campaign pushing it, and spending millions more lobbying for it on Capitol Hill.

The senior citizen advocacy organization stands to make huge profits from Medicare Advantage cuts and from the exemptions it will benefit from when it comes to the Medigap plans sold under what AARP CEO A. Barry Rand calls the AARP’s “for-profit side.”

The AARP’s support of Obamacare during the debate over the legislation raised lots of eyebrows nationwide, as President Obama called for $313 billion in cuts to Medicare to push the plan through. Seniors weren’t happy about it, and many ripped AARP representatives at town hall meetings nationwide.

Now, though, it’s clear that the AARP is set to make millions, if not billions, of extra dollars in Medigap plan sales moving forward because they’ve effectively knocked out their biggest competitor, Medicare Advantage, through Obamacare. (DC)

AARP aided and abetted Democrats’ efforts to inflict a disastrous bill on an unwilling public.  They now stand to profit from the resulting law — while simultaneously receiving convenient exemptions from provisions that may hurt their bottom line.  Ed Morrissey pens the appropriate response to this outrageous report:  “If the AARP and the labor unions that backed ObamaCare need waivers from its consequences, then we all do.”  Amen.  I’ll leave you with this delightful AARP/Obama walk down memory lane.  This clip still makes my blood boil:
Update from AARP: “To be clear, AARP is a non-partisan, non-profit organization with a membership. While there are insurance products that carry the AARP name, they are underwritten by insurers such as Delta Dental, UnitedHealth Group, and Aetna and others—not AARP.  We work to ensure those products meet our standards and provide value to our members.

And, NATO is the US so the US didn’t attack Libya…right….. 😦
Oh and if you disagree with them, Grandma is going off a cliff…
Democrats continue to try to scare seniors with a new anti-GOP Medicare ad that shows “Grandma” getting thrown off a cliff and then asks, “Is America beautiful without Medicare?”

Welcome to the land of the freeloaders and the home of the depraved. No image captures America’s regressive ethos better than that of 30-year-old Stanley Thornton Jr., self-proclaimed “Adult Baby.” Profiled on a recent National Geographic reality television show, Thornton claims to suffer from a bizarre infantilism that leads him to wear diapers, lounge around in an oversized crib and seek constant coddling.

The nappies may be extreme, but let’s face it: Thornton Jr. — let’s just call him Junior — is a symptom of our Nanny State run amok, not an anomaly.

Junior came to Washington’s attention this week when Oklahoma GOP Sen. Tom Coburn challenged the Social Security Administration to probe into how the baby bottle-guzzling 350-pound man qualified for federal disability benefits. A former security guard, Junior is handy enough to have crafted his own wooden high chair and playpen.

Junior can drive a car and has sense enough not to go out in public in his XXL footie pajamas. Yet, welfare administrators treat him as an incurable dependent. Also collecting taxpayer-subsidized paychecks: Thornton’s adult roommate, a former nurse, who has indulged Thornton’s baby role-playing for the past decade.

Junior, naturally, threw a tantrum when his government teat-sucking was called into question. He wiped his nose and un-balled his fists long enough to type out an e-mail to The Washington Times: “You wanna test how damn serious I am about leaving this world, screw with my check that pays for this apartment and food. Try it. See how serious I am. I don’t care,” Junior threatened. “I have no problem killing myself. Take away the last thing keeping me here, and see what happens. Next time you see me on the news, it will be me in a body bag.”

Not from nowhere has this stubborn, self-destructive sense of entitlement sprung. As I reported last month, a record-breaking 12 million Americans have been added to the federal food stamp rolls over the past two years, and the bloated $6 billion AmeriCorps social justice army has been converted into a publicist corps for the welfare machine.

Just this week, a Michigan man boasted that he’s still collecting food stamps after winning a $2 million government-sponsored lottery prize. “If you’re going to … try to make me feel bad, you aren’t going to do it,” he told a local TV reporter. Embedded in his rebuke is the eternal refrain of the self-esteem-puffed teenager: “You can’t judge me!”

Diana West, author of “The Death of the Grown-Up,” traced the modern abdication of adulthood to the Baby Boomer generation. “The common compass of the past — the urge to grow up and into long pants; to be old enough to dance at the ball (amazingly enough, to the music adults danced to); to assume one’s rights and responsibilities — completely disappeared” after World War II. A culture of behavioral restraint gave way to “anything goes” and morphed into the current generation’s “whatever” attitude.

Look around: Junior’s infantilism is of a piece with the refusal of celebrity mothers Dina Lohan and Tish Cyrus to act like parents — and instead serve as best friends and tattoo parlor pals for their wayward daughters Lindsay and Miley. They’re the kind of women who shop at Forever 21, buy beer for their daughters’ prom parties and give them Botox certificates for high school graduation.

Junior’s penchant for pajamas is of a piece with perpetually stunted Hugh Hefner’s fetish for velvet robes 24/7 and self-indulgent decadence. Junior’s giant playpen is a cringe-inducing symbol of the Farmville-tethered, “funemployed” class of self-gratifiers who continue to live for today and spend like there’s no tomorrow.

Adult Baby Syndrome isn’t an isolated pathology. It’s the new American Way. Or, I should say, the new American Wahhhhh. (Michelle Malkin)

On issue after issue, Republicans are putting forward serious, sober and often politically risky solutions (if sometimes a bit weak kneed) to the nation’s most pressing problems, while Democrats play class-warfare games and stoke the public’s fear.

Oh, and today was supposed to be the end of the world… 🙂

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

The Golden Years

I’ve said this before, that AARP is not a seniors advocacy group any longer. It’s a business. And mostly, it’s a greedy, capitalist one.

It’s an INSURANCE company really. 🙂  A tax-exempt one at that.

It will benefit from the destruction of Medicare Advantage. The more expensive and less productive MediGap insurance is backed by….AARP.

Gee, now that’s not ruthless, heartless, Me-me, capitalism now is it!

Gee, I thought Liberals were against such tawdry things. 🙂

Health Reform: The tax-exempt seniors group that pushed hard to get ObamaCare passed stands to reap a billion-dollar reward over the next decade as ObamaCare destroys the competition to the products it endorses.

During what passed for a debate on ObamaCare, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which administers benefits under Medicare, issued what can only be called a gag order after private insurer Humana Inc. warned its Medicare Advantage customers in a letter that ObamaCare might cause them to lose some benefits.

It was because that letter exposed one of Obama-Care’s biggest lies — the claim that if you liked your coverage you can keep it. Millions of seniors liked Medicare Advantage and still do. Fearful of the consequences of the hundreds of billions ObamaCare would cut out of Medicare, and angry about AARP’s support for health care reform, CBS News reported in 2009 how at least 60,000 seniors tore up and mailed back their AARP membership cards.

President Obama told a town meeting in Portsmouth, N.H., “We have the AARP on board because they know this is a good deal for our seniors.” Now a new report released by GOP members on the House Ways and Means Committee, “Behind the Veil: The AARP America Doesn’t Know,” says the AARP may have been on board simply because it was a good deal for it.

The report by House Ways and Means Committee members Wally Herger, R-Calif., and Dave Reichert, R-Wash., compiles the results of a yearlong investigation. It notes that as a result of the health care law, the Obama administration estimates more than 7 million seniors will lose their current Medicare Advantage plan and that AARP stands to benefit handsomely from that fact and the law it lobbied for through the sale of its competing, endorsed Medicare insurance products.

According to the report, AARP had the fourth-highest lobbying expenditures from 1998 to 2010, just below General Electric but above PhRMA. In its lobbying efforts, AARP sold itself as an advocate for seniors against those big, bad insurance companies. Yet it makes tons of cash from endorsing products sold by those same insurance companies.

Royalties from licensing the use of AARP’s name earned $657 million for the organization in 2009, some 46% of its total revenue vs. just 17% from membership dues. Since 2002, income derived from AARP’s business relationships, primarily with insurance companies, has nearly tripled, increasing by $417 million.

The millions forced by ObamaCare to lose the Medicare Advantage coverage will result, the report says “in a massive migration of seniors to Medigap plans. AARP is the nation’s leading provider of Medigap plans and has a contract in which AARP financially gains for every additional Medigap enrollee. “

The amount AARP will gain from ObamaCare — with cost-effectiveness mandates leading to rationed care, the destruction of medical innovation and health care decisions made by bureaucrats rather than doctors and patients — is staggering.

“AARP’s financial gain from the health care law,” the report states, “could exceed $1 billion during the next 10 years. This is because AARP will see their royalty payments increase as seniors are forced out of (Medicare Advantage) plans and buy AARP Medigap plans instead.”

This morphing of a touted seniors service organization to just another lobby feeding at the federal trough for fun and profit has Republicans questioning the group’s tax-exempt status.

“During this investigation it became very clear that despite its privileged tax-exempt status, in many cases, AARP represents a for-profit entity, in fact, an insurance company,” said Ways and Means Rep. Charles Boustany, R-La.

This shameless exploitation of seniors for profit is yet one more reason for pulling the plug on ObamaCare and issuing a “do not resuscitate” order for this government power grab.

So next time you see an AARP commercial about how great they are, wonder just a bit more about whether they actually give a crap about grandma, or whether it’s their bottom line that comes first.

Like a all good demonized “evil” capitalists. 🙂

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Irony and Compromise

Another Karmic Irony Strikes the Liberal Superiority Complex.

AARP’s endorsement helped secure passage of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. Now the seniors’ lobby is telling its employees their insurance costs will rise partly as a result of the law.

In an e-mail to employees, AARP says health care premiums will increase by 8 percent to 13 percent next year because of rapidly rising medical costs.

And AARP adds that it’s changing copayments and deductibles to avoid a 40 percent tax on high-cost health plans that takes effect in 2018 under the law. Aerospace giant Boeing also has cited the tax in asking its workers to pay more. Shifting costs to employees lowers the value of a health care plan and acts like an escape hatch from the tax.

“Most plan co-pays and deductibles have been modified,” Jennifer Hodges, AARP’s director of compensation and benefits, wrote employees in an Oct. 25 e-mail. “Plan value changes were necessary not only from a cost management standpoint but also to ensure that AARP’s plans fall below the threshold for high-cost group plans under health care reform.” (That would be the 40% tax on so-called “Cadillac” plans that the Democrats Health Care plan passed but then under pressure put off until a later date so that they could get the back room votes to cram it down your throat–all supported by AARP itself because of their own health insurance business).


Political Cartoon by Lisa Benson

After Tuesday’s election, the fresh new faces of the Democratic Party are … Harry Reid and Jerry Brown!

And Queen Pelosi is not going anywhere, she wants as much power as she can muster. To be an “obstructionist” maybe? 🙂

After all, the Democrats that suffered the most were the ones who compromised on there “conservative” principles, aka “The Blue Dogs” (22 of the 46 Blue Dogs up for re-election went down on Tuesday) What is left of the Democrats in the House is even more liberal and even more psychotically Left than before.

So wouldn’t she run, what’s left is more her ideological family than those nasty old blue dogs.

“Since they can vote with the Republicans in order to get their way around here, that doesn’t sit well with progressives — who don’t want to vote with Republicans ever,” Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Cali.), co-chair of the House Progressive Caucus, told the Wall Street Journal in July 2009.

So now you see the pretense of “bi-Partisanship” for what it was. And for what it is. The Progressive Left is not going to “compromise” with you. You will have to compromise with them. And that is a death knell. So beware Republicans of Democrat “compromise”.

Now: “From our perspective, our members did all that they could do and really left everything on the field,” said Levana Layendecker, communications director of the progressive grassroots organization Democracy for America. “Of course we are disappointed with the results tonight, but not surprised. Unfortunately, progressive champions became collateral damage tonight in a toxic environment created by Blue Dogs who refused to stand up for real change.”(Huffington post)

And just in case you were wondering, one of the comments on the article said “And we have a Blue Dog President”. YIKES!

But that’s the Progressive Left for you. They aren’t happy until everyone and everything is crushed and crushed FOREVER beneath their vastly superior feet! 😦

The Progressive Left’s Vision: “If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.”

So you want to work with or compromise with this??  Why??

Republicans took control of at least 19 legislative bodies, giving them control of both chambers in at least 26 states. After the 2010 census, the party will play a dominant role in redrawing some 314 congressional districts.

Republicans won 16 of 30 races for state attorney general, taking five away from the Democrats. And in a stunning rebuke to George Soros and his Secretary of State Project to control our election machinery, Republicans won 17 of 26 secretary of state races — a gain of six. They hold the majority of governors, including pivotal states such as Florida, Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

The GOP may even have the good fortune of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi remaining the poster child for dysfunctional government. ABC News reported Friday Pelosi was calling every Democratic House member who won on Tuesday, as well as many who lost, to gauge her support for remaining minority leader.

While we share the disappointment at the re-election of such legislative Smurfs as Harry Reid, Barbara Boxer and Patty Murray, the GOP’s failure to take Senate control is a blessing in disguise.

Full control of Congress would have let Obama run against Republicans and blame them for obstructionism and failure of the economy to recover. As it is, we still have Harry Reid to kick around.

As The Hill reports, in 2012, for the first time in two decades, the Democrats will have more Senate seats to defend, 21 seats vs. only 10 for the GOP. Throw in independents Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Bernie Sanders of Vermont. and they 23 to protect.

So the biggest task facing the Republicans is not compromising with the Progressive Left, but getting anything meaningful past a  thin-skinned, ego-wounded but defiantly arrogant, messianic President.

That and the Ministry of Truth which will step up it’s attacks like they did starting in 2004 to destroy the Republicans for their own benefit.

President Obama is an ideologue bent on the fundamental transformation of America who would rather adopt a scorched America policy than admit to the resounding rebuke of his policies by the American people.

While the Democrats continue to double-down on failure, the GOP is in position to run the table.

If the Republicans don’t fold on a winning hand, we have some good news and bad news for the Democrats. The bad news is that the 2010 election results may have been the good news. (IBD)

So here’s to some “good news” in 2012. 🙂  The fight begins now.

Political Cartoon by Glenn McCoy